Is it really necessary?

May 18th, 2006, 01:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
As I said, I didn't want to get involved in the on going debate about the desirability of cell phones on planes, trains, restaurants, schools whatever...I think it's a modern 21st century convenience/necessity and part of life in this day and age but anyway as far as airplanes and cell phones..

1. It is my belief there is absolutely no safety issue involved with modern cell the past they weren't sure but as noted the technology has improved vastly over the years both on the plane and the cell phones and not one iota of proof exists that cell phones can interfere with a plane's navigational systems and as noted I am sure that on every flight one or two cell phones are accidentally left on or go on in flight for whatever the reason and nothing has ever happened.

2. They probably wouldn't work anyway given the height of planes and the speed from tower to tower and they certainly wouldn't work on a trans Atlantic or trans Pacific flight.

3. Having said that, I really believe the reason airlines don't want to give in on this is that they are looking for ways to make money on this and don't want people to believe they are taking away something from them when the inevitable day comes that they put systems on the plane that enable cell phones to work reasonably well and to be able to charge $1/minute or whatever to increase revenue flow (I mean it's not enough to charge for pillows or drinks on trans Atlantic flights or to give inedible food, as AA does now, on its trans Atlantic flights (compare what they offer on a trip to London with what VS offers for the same fare but that's another story)....
xyz123 is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 02:43 AM
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The system that has been tested and it works flawlessly and it is not depended on towers. I don't know all the technical stuff but basically there will be a receiver/sender type box installed on a plane and it will send/receive the signal to/from a satelite. The technology has been tested and approved by FAA. Before they issue any license(s) they are holding public hearings. They are also trying to decide if the license will be granted to just one operator or multiple companies.

The technology is there and it's ready to go so that's not the issue anymore. It's the licensing and public approval that's still up in the air.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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Cell phones WILL work at altitude and speed. The pax on flight 93 proved that.
jamaltay is offline  
Jul 5th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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The pax on flight 93 were on airphones, not cellphones. Remember Todd Beamer's conversation with Lisa Jefferson the operator?

Furthermore, if you saw any of the movies or documentaries, it shows them swiping credit cards and making phone calls.
skyhigh is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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And the onboard speakers are so loud that I literally have to cover my ears when the pilot or anyone comes on the speakers. They blast our eardrums until I want to SCREAM. There is no good reason to have the volume levels so high. It is obnoxious!
wanderlust5 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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I agree wanderlust5. I acutally had an FA (mildly) scold me for holding my ears during the safety announcements on a recent CRJ flight. In those small cabins the speakers are almost touching your head and she must have had the volume turned all the way up.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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The onboard cell phone connection will be provided by a "picocell" - a miniature version of the ubiquitous towers on the ground. Its connection with the terrestrial network will be similar to what airphones use today: ground-based antennas when flying over land, and satellite connections when over water.

Ordinary cell phones don't work above a few thousand feet because the signal from cell towers is "shaped" so that most of their energy is focused in a very narrow horizontal band. This is done so that transmittig power isn't wasted on the empty space above the ground.

I have heard all the arguments pro and con, and have read the engineering data on cell phones in planes. I don't like it, simply because of the number of unknowns. The fact that nothing bad has happened so far¹ is meaningless. Cell phones that might be inadvertantly left powered up while in flight are irrelevant, because once a phone has registered on a network, it doesn't transmit (emit RF) but a fraction of one percent of the time. The accident, when it happens, will be a combination of an overstressed cockpit crew, a tight weather situation, and a malfunctioning cell phone spraying energy all over a part of the RF spectrum it shouldn't. I favor a total ban.

¹ That we know of. Some "probable causes" are never verified.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 11:16 PM
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NO CELL PHONES, PLEASE! It is bad enough listening to miss teenie-bopper go on and on about who is dating who, or mr. businessman going on and on about making the deal, at the mall, at the restaurant, at the grocery store, at the beach - everywhere! About the only place we don't have to listen to other people LOUDLY carrying on endless conversations IS IN A PLANE. Take hundreds of us, all jammed into seats too small for too many hours, with too much booze, and crummy food, crying babies, grumpiness - you know - and add cell phone chit-chat. That sounds like a nightmare! I hope they never allow them.
dbaker is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 11:17 PM
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Although, I could make a killing selling earplugs enroute if they ever do allow them
dbaker is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 05:44 AM
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I'd buy them from you, too.
Carrybean is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 10:55 PM
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dbaker, you invent an earplug that would drown out all the yackers on their cell phones and I am sure you would make a mint.

A friend and I were just "talking" today how absolutely irritating (to put it midly) cellphone use on airplanes would be. We are both sick and tired of people blabbing away on their cell phone in every public building they go into. What in heavens name is so important to discuss that it can't wait until they are home? Or at least make a quick one minute phone call. The thought of even half of the plane passengers talking on cellphone along with the the other annoyances is more than I care to think about, lol.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 03:06 AM
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And if it goes through the airlines will probably charge more for "quiet zones" where no cell phones may be used. Wanna bet?
Carrybean is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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I've said this a few times and will repeat - my Shure sound-isolating headphones are so good I cannot hear any conversations without taking them out of my ear. You can yap as much as you want, and I won't care. Go get some and try them yourselves.

All models use the same isolating sleeves, so even the cheapest E2c will do.
rkkwan is offline  
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